# 8 | Satya Narayana Vrata Puja

Following the Master | Mauritius 2020-21

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For the past few days, we have been woken up by the warm, motherly voice of Guruji at 5 am. ‘Do you want to go for a walk?’

We went to a beautiful park very close to where we are staying but had never seen it! On the way, Guruji shared memories of His past stories and we saw His childhood school.

It’s amazing how with this little act, Guruji shows us how important it is to have discipline, to have a goal, and to work for it. He is demonstrating the value of determination and consistency for simple goals and how with that, we can achieve bigger goals. Everything requires time and effort in order to achieve something.

Through His actions, we witness His constant effort. There is truly not a single minute He isn’t working to help someone and pushing people to develop a better version of themselves. Every night after answering questions, He calls devotees late at night, goes to sleep for a very short time, wakes up early to do His walks and encourages us to join this healthy routine.

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In the morning when we came back, the Mauritian team set up the backyard for cooking outside. The food was prepared traditionally with burning fires on the ground with massive pots for large portions of extremely tasty and spicy traditional Mauritian food! All of the food was offered as prasad and to the guests who visited us for the ceremony of Satya Narayana Vrata Puja.

This ritual is considered to be very special for prosperity and wellness of this world but also for spiritual advancement - moksha. Guruji, as a joke, later said it is to be performed at least once a month! But most importantly, we need to work for the things that we want!

The puja began with a yajna. The puja is not only about the rituals, but also about reading the stories of the Lord before the ceremony is finished. 

Guruji took His time to explain the meaning and symbolism of every step. He commented on the importance of prasad, and how we cannot leave without eating all of it, recalling the story from Chapter IV in the Satya Narayana Katha about Kalavathi and how she neglected the prasad and her life was disrupted until she realized the mistake. In our case, there was a lot of food for everyone even with such a large crowd. Many people came (nearly 150) and there was a lot for everyone! By the night, Guruji told us, we should eat everything.

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The day had a nice closing because in the late afternoon, Sridhar Das from the USA was initiated as brahmachari by Guruji Himself and given his new name, Shridharananda. We finished the ceremony and ended up doing the arati Sri Ranganath all together with Guruji and His new brahmachari.

Another beautiful moment to recall from the last days is how the love of the devotees can make Guruji ‘change His mind’. A few days ago Bhakti Marga sent out an announcement stating that there would be no more country darshans. But it seems that caused so much pain for His devotees, that Guruji decided to give even more darshans than before! January itself is very tied up with darshan schedules, but we remember His words a few satsangs ago where He told us when something is given easily, people don’t appreciate it until they lose it. Let us try to honour His humility and Love for us all! 

More Impressions

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